Sunday, 23 July 2023 11:40

How Losing Everything Helped Me Gain Much More

“Life begins on the other side of despair.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre 

When what appeared to be my forever life crumbled before my eyes a few years ago, I couldn’t see a way out of my despair and pain. All the memories, conversations, trips, and Netflix binges vanished along with my husband’s love, my house, and my happiness. I couldn't imagine a life without my husband. I had formed habits and routines around the life that he and I had created. I had been in a comfort bubble with no desire to leave. 

I am sure we have all experienced the feeling of being content with where we are in life and what we are doing, even if it might not be where we saw ourselves at 20 years old. Nevertheless, we formulate these standards for ourselves, get stuck in the routine of things, and when something abruptly changes that routine, we are left feeling confused and uncomfortable.

However, I have discovered over two years that without the unexpected event that was my divorce and subsequent circumstances that followed, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I can undoubtedly say that I am more confident, more capable, more determined, and stronger, physically and mentally, than I have ever been in my life. 

And as bizarre as this might seem, I owe that to the failure of my marriage. Without the support I used to have from him, I was forced to rely on myself and change, or I wouldn’t have been able to survive. I spoke about my healing journey in other blogs here, but I want to emphasize how important it was for me to rediscover who I was after being in a situation for years and becoming comfortable with that situation. I started with a list.

Who am I? A yogi, a dancer, a meditator, a lover of animals, a runner, a healthy eater, a nature lover, an equestrian, a gymnast, and on and on. Even if I didn't do something any longer, like ride horses, I still put it down because that's who I once was and who I wanted to be again.

Next I worked on becoming those things. I practiced yoga and meditation at a studio. I volunteered at a farm for rescued animals, I joined a gym so I could workout at any time during the year without worrying about weather conditions. I joined a dance studio and learned belly dance. I researched gymnastics for adults and places to ride horses. I realized I had many things to look forward to, even though I had nothing of my former life left. 

That’s the thing I’ve discovered. It doesn’t matter how much heartbreak you have, how much depression, sadness, fear, or longing you’re feeling. Those will always be just around the corner. That’s the way life is. But something else will always be around too, and that is ourselves, our fortitude, and our hope for something better to also be waiting around the corner. 

The only consistent thing to happen in this world is change. As humans we are creatures of habit. Habits develop from actions that we do over and over, whether we mean to form them or not. They may begin when we are small children and evolve as we get older. We could have habits that we deem are good and habits that we want to break. We don’t think about habits anymore when they are second nature. The beauty of habits is that there is always room for more. 

I don’t have to understand life. I just have to live it. That is how I have transitioned from fighting the tears each night to falling blissfully to sleep. I changed the way I think. I changed my routines. I changed my way of being. 

If you are going through something life-changing, a loss of a loved one, a job, a home, I hope, when you’re ready, that you can rediscover the person you once were; that person is still in there waiting for the next big thing.

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Heart of Healing
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